A man accused of driving his truck through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Virginia over the weekend is a leader of the Ku Klux Klan, according to officials. The Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney said on Monday that Harry Rogers, the man who was behind the wheel of the vehicle, intentionally drove into the crowd of demonstrators and is an "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan."
Rogers, 36, has been charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism, assault and battery and is being held without a bond. Rogers could also be charged with hate crime given his association with the KKK if deemed "appropriate."
The Henrico County Police Division said in a statement that it received a call from Richmond Police on Sunday about the incident that took place during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the city. According to police, several witnesses reported that a vehicle had revved its engine before driving through a group of protesters occupying the roadway.
Rogers was arrested and a victim who had reported the incident to the police was examined by EMTs at the scene for injuries but did not suffer any serious injuries.
"While I am grateful that the victim's injuries do not appear to be serious, an attack on peaceful protesters is heinous and despicable and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law," Attorney Shannon Taylor said in a statement.
"The accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology," she added. A "cursory glance" at his social media accounts and his admissions to authorities revealed that he was a leader of the white supremacist group, she said.
Charlottesville Car Attack
"Protesters acting peaceably, well within their constitutional rights of assembly, should not have to fear violence," she said. "We lived through this in Charlottesville in 2017. I promise that this egregious criminal act will not go unpunished."
A woman was killed and 19 other people were injured after a car plowed into a crowd of protesters peacefully protesting at anti-racism rally in Charlottesville in 2017. The driver, James Fields, a known white supremacist, was sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges last year.
What is the Ku Klux Klan?
The KKK is an American white supremacist hate group that targets black people. The group was founded at the end of the United States Civil War by six ex-Confederate soldiers to express the rights and freedoms of African Americans.
It was outlawed in the United States in 1871 because of violent and outrageous crimes against blacks and northerners, including murder and lynching but continues to exist even after 150 years, as an active domestic terrorist organization.
In 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors extremist groups, estimated that there were "at least 29 separate, rival Klan groups currently active in the United States,"